I am still working on these but if you want me to update a particular FAQ please put it in the comments on the bottom of the page
FAQ's for anyone wanting to insulate their house
This page has Brief descriptions of the answer to many common questions when it comes to installing home insulation. In the drop down you will find links to relevant pages where more details are required and references. This is not a complete list I am sure but you are welcome to put comments at the bottom of any page. The best way to find what you are looking for is to type your question into the search bar at the top of the page.
Should I get some roof vents installed with my ceiling insulation ?
It is like the “would you like fries with that” of the insulation world and most reps are very happy to take your money. Honestly we don't make any money out of not selling stuff when customers ask for it but they do not work and they will cause problems in a storm. It is your decision though and yes we can supply and install a couple of roof vents for you while we are there doing your insulation.
We make and extra $50 per roof vent but they will cause you trouble eventually and they are of no benefit after you have a quality insulation installed. The NCC states that if you have adequate roof ventilation (one 300mm mechanical vent per 70 meters of roof space plus 2 eave vents) you will get a 0.47 R value benefit in summer and a Negative 0.47 R value in winter. So actually roof vents will work against your insulation in winter. The main reason we don’t install roof vents is because, they will leak or make a lot of a noise eventually. The bearings ware out and then the tops can fall off some models leaving a big hole in your roof. After the first summer storm we get flooded with enquirers to fix the noisy of leaking roof vents, I actually often just remove the vents while I am on site doing the insulation.
Half the time Roof vents like Whirly birds are just not installed properly by DIY people or tradesmen often install roof vents at a angle because they do not know these simple tricks to getting it right. Although installing them properly does not make them work much better, it will often stop your new roof vent from leaking water into your roof from the day they are installed. Have a look at these vents that were installed by a qualified builder (Builders are not roofers).
If your roof does not leak now, you are asking us to cut a 300mm round hole in the top of your roof sheets or remove a tile and install a flimsy aluminium coke can in its place. Sure they are tested in wind tunnels to speeds of 100 kms per hour but they don't throw sticks at them in the wind tunnel and if anything hits them including hail, they will be damages and possibly leak.
The fact is that a well installed quality insulation will stop 100% of the heat transfer though your ceiling and so venting your roof space will just make it more likely that other animals like rats and mice can like there. I would go so far as saying that it is unethical to sell roof vents with a quality insulation.
I do not recommend any mechanical or electric roof vents be installed with your roof insulation, they just cause trouble in the future.
Less is more when it comes to siliconing down a roof vent and in this video I give you a couple of tips for how and where to put silicon so that you do not actually cause your roof vent to leak by putting silicon where it shouldn't be.
What is the "R Value" for home insulation and how do R Values tell Lies ?
R Value, stands for the Thermal Resistance Rating of the insulation product and is used to measure how much insulation you need in a home.
The R value is a some what arbitrary number just like the SPF factor of sun screen. Nobody really knows what SPF is but we all know (At least in Australia) that we should have at least SPF 15 plus. We the R Value for your home insulation is a bit the same. The government stipulates the correct R value you need for your home insulation in the NCC for your climate zone.
Then it is up to the contractors installing your insulation to make sure that they put that amount of insulation into your ceiling. Basically the thicker the insulation the higher the R Value but their is a few little lies hidden in the details that can be very deceptive and cause customers to buy products that are totally wrong for they home.
The problem is that Labelling requirements for manufacturers of insulation in Australia do not require Manufacturers to comply with the same standards when it comes to the R value they put on the pack. Basically there are 3 ways a manufacturer can consider the R value of their product and so the value on the pack may be nothing to do with the R value of the insulation batts you are buying.
The following are all Valid ways to label your R value when it comes to selling home insulation.
The Actual tested R value of the product you are selling (You might think that would be the only allowable way to label insulation packs)
The Total system Value of the insulation when in a "Typical" roof ? - Wow - that could mean anything. Basically if your house was built between 2005 and may 2020, the manufacturer could print on the packet the R Value of their product to include everything else in that building.... Yep thats Right I could sell a builder a sheet of black plastic with no thermal resistance at all and say that its Total system value when installed is R1.7. All because with my "Typical installation" I am allowed to add the R Value of all the other products between the living space and the sun including the Tiles, Cavity space, ventilation, plaster and even the colour of the roof to the system value of my sheet of black plastic...... Now the requirements of the NCC did not change but as most builders don't like reading, they were confused and often thought that the R value on the pack was the Value of the product being installed.
It could be tested only for Radiant heat or only Convected heat - As there in no Radiant heat in your Roof it makes no sense to test home insulation like this or put labels stating only a radiant R Value.
Thankfully in May 2020 the new NCC 2019 states that manufacturers can no longer use a R Value that is called "Total R Value" or "System R Values", as they are no longer allowed by law in insulation labels. Mind you, that does not mean that manufacturers have complied with this requirement because it is up to the builder to know what the real R Value rating of the product he is using is. This is fine for builders who know the standards have changed (All my mates at school who loved to read became builders, that is sarcasm in case you missed it) but my experience is that most builders did not understand that "Total system Values" were a lie in the first place so why would they understand that they should make sure the manufacturer is no using the old standard on their R value descriptions.
Can I just buy batts for a DIY installation
Why is all the advice in the insulation industry so confusing and often contradictory ?
Is Cellulose fibre insulation safe for houses with tank water
Cellulose fibre is made from recycled paper and many a child has eaten the pages out of a book. So I think you could safely ingest any cellulose that might end up in your water tank. The nature of cellulose is to float on the top of the water anyway and so even if some got into your water tank it is very unlikely to end up down near the pickup for your water pump which is always at the bottom of the tank.
However it is part of our systems to blow the roof off and remove any cellulose that might have been spilt on the roof during the installation process, including blowing the gutters out. Sometimes this makes a mess down stairs that we also have to clean up but once the job is done properly there will be no more cellulose blowing around ever.
The chemical in used to make the cellulose insulation to make it fire retardant is actually a essential mineral that the body needs for healthy skin and bones ( Boron in the form of Boric acid ), so in the very diluted state that it would be if any washed into your water tank it would not cause any adverse health problems. You can even buy boron vitamin supplements with boron in it because it is essential for healthy bones.
Borax is a stable chemical like salt but just like salt it is toxic if you eat to much of it, actually you need to eat about 100g of boric acid for it to be toxic and that would be about 500g of cellulose insulation in one sitting. This would be very hard to do without doing it on purpose and so I advise strongly that you may die if you eat cellulose insulation. But that is also true of some many normal house hold chemicals, just don't eat them....
The borax in the cellulose fibre is also not going to evaporate or dissipate over time, in fact it is mined out of the ground and so it will be in the cellulose insulation protecting it and your home from fire and vermin attacks for 1000's of years. Well at least as long as your home is standing but it can actually be fully recycled and reinstalled because it really does last forever without getting rats or mice in it.
I would be concerned about the fibre glass batts that some companies use, as if you are collecting water as the glass particles could wash into your water tanks and these glass particles are not easily digested by your body, this includes the glass particles in anti con blanket. Please make sure that none of that is left on your roof or if you currently have it I would recommend a quality water filter before drinking the water. Glass particles will sink in the water and will end up in your drinking cup. Glass has no place to go in the body and it not a mineral that the body needs.
If you have tank water it would be best not to use fibre glass batts or Anticon blanket as far as your families health is concerned. I often see fibre glass from Anticon blanket insulation overhanging into the gutters and so I would be worried about this if I needed the water for drinking. Follow the link above for more information about Glass insulation batts and drinking water.
Increase the Energy Star Rating of your home, with quality insulation.
Insulating your home is almost the single greatest thing you can do to increase its energy efficiency rating. To achieve the best rating your walls, floor, and ceiling should be insulated with a quality insulation like Cellulose Fibre.
How insulation can stop Mould growing on my ceiling?
Mould is very common in Queensland and insulation can stop it. If you are sick of cleaning your ceilings with toxic mould remover that literally takes your breath away then you will benefit from insulating your ceiling. Mould is a health risk in your home and insulation is a safe and permanent way to get rid of it in most cases. I do recommend the cellulose insulation as it will be much more effective than any other insulation at stopping mould in your roof. For more information follow the link
Why you always buy your insulation from the company that installs it.
I have existing fibre glass batts in my roof that I don't think are working what do you recommend ? Removal or Top over with Cellulose Fibre.
A top over with Cellulose Fibre Insulation is another option when your insulation batts are not working
Do you recommend Insulating our verandas at the same time?
My western wall gets very hot can I insulate it ?
I have cellulose insulation in my roof and it has sunk can I have it removed?
I have a Raked Roof over a small area in the kitchen and the other companies said it could not be insulated but it gets really hot, Can it be Insulated ?
I insulated my house but not the garage, my garage was fine before but now it seams to be a lot hotter, Why?
Should I insulate my garage ceiling at the same time as my house?
How to stop road noise, noise from upstairs and overhead planes with insulation!
We have a tenant that lives in the room downstairs and the noise from the people walking, kids playing or the vacuum cleaner scratching the floor is horrible!!. Can you insulate between my floors and how much noise will it stop?.
Dust in my roof, Bugs, Vermin, Pests, Mould Prevention and its effect on my Roof Insulation
Cellulose Fibre Insulation will stop the mould that is forming on your ceiling?
What is the slippery White powder the is all over the joists in my roof?
I have dust coming though my ceiling every time the house moves and I want my ceiling vacuumed
Roof Vents (Whirly Birds)
Roof Condition, Leaks, tile Clips and Paint
The clean patch in the dust that forms in your roof space is a sure indication of a roof leak directly above it and this is the kind of thing our staff is train to look for so that we can find any potential leaks and report them to you.
My roof has an existing leak I think because I can see some Buckets in my roof space or a stain on my ceiling.
Roof inspection report
What happens if you break a tile while installing roof insulation with roof access?
Do I need my tile clips replaced?
Water collection from the roof, does cellulose get into my tank water
What if it rains on the day of installation or it is to windy or hot
Are you insured
Why is your quote so much dearer than the other quotes we have.
What phase of construction do your need to do the ceiling or wall insulation
Can we come onto the roof while you are doing the job to clean our gutters
How will I know that the job in done right
When should we pay
Can you give a discount for cash payment
Do you have a pensioners discount
What if you get here and the house is different size to what you quoted?
What if you can not install a area of the roof for some reason when you arrive?
Do you need to remove the solar panels to insulate underneath them?
My roof does not have Sarking under the tiles and so should I get that installed first
My roof is insulated with anticon blanket under the iron, Why do I need ceiling insulation as well.
Does your cellulose fibre insulation burn?
What Climate Zone is my house in for my Insulation
The Building code of Australia Recommends different Thermal Resistance Values (R-Value) for homes in different areas based on environmental factors in that area. The recommendation made in the building code are adequate, but unfortunately not all insulation products perform as well as stated in the table. As builders make more money if they use cheap products, most new homes are fitted with the cheapest insulation and to the absolute minimum standard possible.